Courtesy: Tony Campbell/ISU Photographic Services
Bell Among Preseason Favorites For 2012 Walter Payton Award
Courtesy:ISU Athletics
Danny Pfrank

PHILADELPHIA - Indiana State junior running back Shakir Bell is among the 20 student-athletes selected by The Sports Network for the publication's 2012 Walter Payton Award Watch List. The Walter Payton Award is presented following the season to the nation's most outstanding player at the Football Championship Subdivision level.

Bell tied for second for the prestigious award following his standout sophomore season, a year that saw the Indianapolis, Ind., native lead the nation with 1,670 rushing yards. The Warren Central High School product was named to the FCS Preseason All-America First Team by The Sports Network earlier this week.

Bell averaged 151.8 yards per game on the ground and broke the school record for single-game rushing yards last season when he racked up 256 yards and four touchdowns in Indiana State's 37-35 win over Youngstown State on Sept. 24, 2011.

The 2011 Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year tallied 14 touchdowns in 2011, breaking the school record for single-season rushing yards (1,670) and posted the eighth-best total in MVFC history.

Bell is one of three student-athletes from the MVFC to be placed on the Walter Payton Award Watch List, joined by Youngstown State's Kurt Hess and Jamaine Cook.

The Sycamores open the 2012 season on Saturday, Sept. 1, in Bloomington, Ind., against the Indiana Hoosiers. Indiana State opens their home schedule the following weekend when ISU hosts Quincy on Saturday, Sept. 8.

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